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JUST IN: CONSTELLATION FEB. 16 EMBARKATION PORT CHANGE


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45 minutes ago, Boltonbabe said:

Does this mean if anyone is currently in Singapore and they manage to get a flight to Dubai will they be able to embark. No clear

thanks

 

That could happen.  As of now, Singapore has not been added as a location that you cannot have travelled to prior to the cruise.  However, since Singapore has a relatively high number of Coronavirus cases, I would not be surprised if it is added to the list.

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7 hours ago, nyc2pdx said:

That’s pretty horrible. If a last minute flight to Dubai and potentially a hotel the night before is cost prohibitive, then you can cancel with normal penalties?  They changed the embarkation...it isn’t the passengers fault this happened. 

So you are saying it is all on X?

 

I would tend to believe that a Government and its' health agency had a hand in this, too.

 

bon voyage

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27 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

So you are saying it is all on X?

 

I would tend to believe that a Government and its' health agency had a hand in this, too.

 

bon voyage

Not at all on X...but Celebrity makes its money by repeat customers and providing an experience to its customers.  I'd hate to think if I was on this cruise that my experience was one of scrambling to find last minute flights to Dubai.  X was initially offering a refund and future cruise credit, which seemed very nice given the circumstances.  I can't say I would be so happy if I was looking at having to pay last minute airfare to Dubai instead of Singapore.  Especially if I was already in Singapore and now had to buy a ticket (with no change fees) to Dubai to catch the ship.

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1 minute ago, nyc2pdx said:

Not at all on X...but Celebrity makes its money by repeat customers and providing an experience to its customers.  I'd hate to think if I was on this cruise that my experience was one of scrambling to find last minute flights to Dubai.  X was initially offering a refund and future cruise credit, which seemed very nice given the circumstances.  I can't say I would be so happy if I was looking at having to pay last minute airfare to Dubai instead of Singapore.  Especially if I was already in Singapore and now had to buy a ticket (with no change fees) to Dubai to catch the ship.

While most likely hectic, were one using Celebrity Air, it would automatically be taken care of.

 

Of course not everyone uses Celebrity Air and as such they will have to make their own arrangements for change and etc., very unfortunate and lots of pressure as well.

 

On our next sailing in Europe, we will use Celebrity Air in order to avoid such potential headaches and inconveniences... even if booking it last minute, if possible.

 

bon voyage

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5 minutes ago, Bo1953 said:

While most likely hectic, were one using Celebrity Air, it would automatically be taken care of.

 

Of course not everyone uses Celebrity Air and as such they will have to make their own arrangements for change and etc., very unfortunate and lots of pressure as well.

 

On our next sailing in Europe, we will use Celebrity Air in order to avoid such potential headaches and inconveniences... even if booking it last minute, if possible.

 

bon voyage

I will too.  I'm new to cruising, but this is a valuable lesson learned!

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16 minutes ago, nyc2pdx said:

Especially if I was already in Singapore and now had to buy a ticket (with no change fees) to Dubai to catch the ship.

Passengers on the 1st Feb Constellation sailing which has been turned round to return to Dubai have been given free Internet time to contact their TA. I also believe they have been given $500 towards flight changes. 

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For those that booked in the UK/EU I would point out this 

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634/regulation/11/made

 

Alteration of other package travel contract terms

11.—(1) The provisions of this regulation are implied as a term in every package travel contract.

(2) The organiser must not unilaterally change the terms of a package travel contract before the start of the package, other than the price in accordance with regulation 10, unless—

(a)the contract allows the organiser to make such changes;

(b)the change is insignificant; and

(c)the organiser informs the traveller of the change in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner on a durable medium.

(3) Paragraphs (4) to (11) apply where, before the start of the package, the organiser—

(a)is constrained by circumstances beyond the control of the organiser to alter significantly any of the main characteristics of the travel services specified in paragraphs 1 to 10 of Schedule 1;

(b)cannot fulfil the special requirements specified in paragraph 1 of Schedule 5; or

(c)proposes to increase the price of the package by more than 8% in accordance with regulation 10(4).

(4) The organiser must, without undue delay, inform the traveller in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner on a durable medium, of—

(a)the proposed changes referred to in paragraph (3) and, where appropriate, in accordance with paragraph (7), their impact on the price of the package;

(b)a reasonable period within which the traveller must inform the organiser of the decision pursuant to paragraph (5);

(c)the consequences of the traveller’s failure to respond within the period referred to in sub-paragraph (b); and

(d)any substitute package, of an equivalent or higher quality, if possible, offered to the traveller and its price.

(5) The traveller may, within a reasonable period specified by the organiser—

(a)accept the proposed changes; or

(b)terminate the contract without paying a termination fee.

(6) Where the traveller terminates the contract pursuant to paragraph (5)(b), the traveller may accept a substitute package, where this is offered by the organiser.

(7) Where—

(a)the changes to the package travel contract referred to in paragraph (3), or

(b)the substitute package referred to in paragraph (6),

result in a package of lower quality or cost, the traveller is entitled to an appropriate price reduction.

(8) Where—

(a)the traveller terminates the contract pursuant to paragraph (5)(b), and

(b)the traveller does not accept a substitute package,

the organiser must refund all payments made by or on behalf of the traveller without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the contract is terminated.

(9) Where paragraph (8) applies, regulation 16(2) to (10) applies.

(10) Where the traveller does not confirm, within the period specified in paragraph (5), whether the traveller wishes to—

(a)accept the proposed change, or

(b)terminate the contract,

in accordance with that paragraph, the organiser must notify the traveller, a second time, of the matters in sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of paragraph (4).

(11) If, having been notified under paragraph (10), the traveller fails to respond, the organiser may terminate the contract and refund all payments made by or on behalf of the traveller without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the contract is terminated.

 

Would probably be worth a call to Celebrity to point this out and if you booked in the UK stating your next call would be to ABTA as per your cruise contract to lodge a formal complaint. In the EU I believe it is the EU Online Dispute Resolution ( ODR )

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, upwarduk said:

Passengers on the 1st Feb Constellation sailing which has been turned round to return to Dubai have been given free Internet time to contact their TA. I also believe they have been given $500 towards flight changes. 

I am sailing now on this cruise.  This gesture is insulting.  It has cost many passengers thousand of dollars to rebook flights.  The VIP luncheon scheduled for the 12th has been moved to the 13th,  probably to give people time to cool off. At the very least Celebrity should offer a huge credit for a future cruise.

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3 hours ago, Silkroad said:

Honestly, I’m amazed Celebrity is offering OBC for the missed port & changed embarkation port. I’ve not seen that before. I wouldn’t have minded extra OBC when we had two extra days at sea instead of in St. Petersburg!

Totally agree Silkroad, we too were on that cruise and apart from getting port charges & Excursions booked via Celebrity, refunded, we got nothing.

We were told to contact our Insurance company, but of course we weren’t covered.

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1 hour ago, Bo1953 said:

While most likely hectic, were one using Celebrity Air, it would automatically be taken care of.

 

Of course not everyone uses Celebrity Air and as such they will have to make their own arrangements for change and etc., very unfortunate and lots of pressure as well.

 

Why? Where does it say that Celebrity can offer a different cruise embarking from a port 3,000 miles away from where originally scheduled?  I'm aware that the cruise contract states that the cruise line can substitute or skip ports of call, but I don't believe that it states that the cruise line can just substitute a different cruise embarking from a different country.  I'd like you to answer the hypothetical that I posed earlier in the thread:  If I book a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami because I can drive to the port, is it your contention that Celebrity can subsequently state that its moving the ship to Canada and I am now required to fly to Vancouver to take an Alaskan cruise instead?

 

Because I really don't see any difference between that and telling someone in Singapore that they now have to fly to Dubai to board the ship.

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1 hour ago, MadManOfBethesda said:

Why? Where does it say that Celebrity can offer a different cruise embarking from a port 3,000 miles away from where originally scheduled?

 

Section 6, Subsections a, b, c and d of the Cruise Ticket Contract. 

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/content/dam/celebrity/pdf/Cruise-Ticket-Contract-Celebrity.pdf

 

That said, I suspect Celebrity will be more forgiving of cancellations than the first announcement indicates.  All of these changes are certainly catching each traveler off-guard, but Celebrity (and all the other cruise lines) are essentially in the same position, multiplied by thousands of passengers, then multiplied by suppliers, contractors and employees. 

 

Celebrity is caught between the "rock" of passengers who still want to cruise, and the "hard place" of those who either wish to cancel, or cannot make the change to the new port. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

Edited by omeinv
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I would not be surprised if Celebrity changes their policy here. It's unreasonable to make people travel 3,000 miles to join their ship on their on dime with 5 days notice. Especially when many of the cruisers are already in transit or within 24 hours of starting their journey.  I understand if they are using Celebrity Air, they are taken care of, but many of us do not even consider Celebrity Air since we can find our own bargains or use miles to book a special vacation in business class.  

 

I understand "ship happens"  and you need to make last minute adjustments to schedules, but I agree with @MadManOfBethesda that a last minute change from Fort Lauderdale to Miami is one thing, but a different country 3,000 miles away is simply not reasonable for some travelers.  Give them the option to cancel and get FCC.  I have a feeling they are getting inundated with complaints from travel agents and I wouldn't be surprised if some lawyers haven't contacted HQ to inquire of options.

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1 hour ago, MadManOfBethesda said:

Why? Where does it say that Celebrity can offer a different cruise embarking from a port 3,000 miles away from where originally scheduled?  I'm aware that the cruise contract states that the cruise line can substitute or skip ports of call, but I don't believe that it states that the cruise line can just substitute a different cruise embarking from a different country.  I'd like you to answer the hypothetical that I posed earlier in the thread:  If I book a Caribbean cruise departing from Miami because I can drive to the port, is it your contention that Celebrity can subsequently state that its moving the ship to Canada and I am now required to fly to Vancouver to take an Alaskan cruise instead?

 

Because I really don't see any difference between that and telling someone in Singapore that they now have to fly to Dubai to board the ship.

 

It's not really an apples to apples comparison.  Your example is a redeployment, while this is a rerouting.  Apart from the originating port and skipping one port of call, the rest of the cruise and the debarkation port is the same.  Moving from the Caribbean to Alaska would share no common ports.  At least on this cruise they are still visiting a majority of the cities that were originally planned.

 

The main issue is that it should not be the passengers responsibility to get from Singapore to Dubai or vice-versa.  Celebrity should offer chartered flights at no cost to those who find themselves in the wrong place at the beginning or end of the cruise, or the ability to cancel.  I can think of multiple instances where a cruise has ended in the wrong city in the Caribbean on other cruise lines due to weather or mechanical problems, and the cruise line always provided a transportation alternative.  Having this happen at the start of a cruise is a little different, but they could arrange the same thing.  To expect passengers to foot the bill for their own last minute flights is unacceptable.

Edited by timf2001
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19 minutes ago, omeinv said:

 

Section 6, Subsections a, b, c and d of the Cruise Ticket Contract. 

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/content/dam/celebrity/pdf/Cruise-Ticket-Contract-Celebrity.pdf

 

Harris

Denver, CO

I appreciate your response, but subsections b, c, & d are not relevant, and a is open to interpretation because it does not expressly state that Celebrity can change the port of embarkation at its whim. Subsection a states that Celebrity can do pretty much anything else with the cruise, but again, it doesn't specifically mention changing the embarkation.  

 

And once again, I would ask you or anyone else who wants to point to this section of the contract: could Celebrity substitute an Alaskan cruise at the last minute for an already booked Caribbean cruise, and require passengers to fly from Miami to Vancouver (or Seattle, or Anchorage, etc.) to board the ship at that port or forfeit 100% of the paid fare?

Edited by MadManOfBethesda
typo
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18 minutes ago, MadManOfBethesda said:

I appreciate your response, but subsections b, c, & d are not relevant, and a is open to interpretation because it does not expressly state that Celebrity can change the port of embarkation at its whim. Subsection a states that Celebrity can do pretty much anything else with the cruise, but again, it doesn't specifically mention changing the embarkation.  

 

And once again, I would ask you or anyone else who wants to point to this section of the contract: could Celebrity substitute an Alaskan cruise at the last minute for an already booked Caribbean cruise, and require passengers to fly from Miami to Vancouver (or Seattle, or Anchorage, etc.) to board the ship at that port or forfeit 100% of the paid fare?

"Carrier may for any reason at any time and without prior notice, cancel, advance, postpone or deviate from any scheduled sailing, port of call, destination, lodging or any activity on or off the Vessel, or substitute another vessel or port of call, destination, lodging or activity." (emphasis added)

 

Celebrity's contract clearly has language allowing it.  That being said, your point is entirely valid that the fact that something is included in the contract is not the final word.  If it were there would never be law suits.

 

You're entirely correct in raising the question of a deviation in embarkation port of thousands of miles. 

 

I really expect that Celebrity will change the options available to passengers booked on this cruise.  While the plain language of the contract wouldn't require it, the wild card in every dispute is the interpretation of "reasonable".  Someone used the example of a change from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale as an embarkation port.  That change would almost certainly be found "reasonable" for almost any reason.  Here we're dealing with vast distance, so that works against the change being "reasonable".  On the other hand the reason for the change - a documented public health crisis, and likely the intervention of various government agencies - works toward the move being "reasonable".   Based upon what I've seen over many years of cruising with Celebrity, and watching similar situations develop in the past; I think that Celebrity will amend the initial decision not to provide refunds for those unwilling or unable to sail their booked cruises.  For the sake of argument (only) if they did not, I imagine some judge would likely decide whether they should have, and the first step in the decision is determination of what's reasonable. 

 

Harris

Denver, CO

 

 

 

Edited by omeinv
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1 hour ago, upwarduk said:

Totally agree Silkroad, we too were on that cruise and apart from getting port charges & Excursions booked via Celebrity, refunded, we got nothing.

We were told to contact our Insurance company, but of course we weren’t covered.

 

Because you were treated poorly in the past is no justification for it to be repeated.

 

Moving the port of embarkation by almost 6000km to a different country is completely unreasonable and this has been done at very short notice - Celebrity are in the cruise business and they should deal with and treat their customers properly,  they have no right to profit in all circumstances.  They are telling customers to rely on their insurance policy, Celebrity could do the same.

 

 

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2 hours ago, nyc2pdx said:

I can't say I would be so happy if I was looking at having to pay last minute airfare to Dubai instead of Singapore.  Especially if I was already in Singapore and now had to buy a ticket (with no change fees) to Dubai to catch the ship.

Isn’t this why we buy travel insurance? Surely an embarkation port change qualifies for reimbursement from one’s insurer. 

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4 minutes ago, DYKWIA said:

Because you were treated poorly in the past is no justification for it to be repeated.

I was on the cruise that Upwarduk referenced, and I did not think I was treated poorly. I said it would have been nice to be offered OBC for the two missed days in SPB, but I had no expectation that I would be offered anything. Why? Because we missed the port due to weather. It was totally outside Celebrity’s control. Missed or changed ports due to weather, political unrest, or epidemics cannot be blamed on Celebrity. 

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2 hours ago, upwarduk said:

Totally agree Silkroad, we too were on that cruise and apart from getting port charges & Excursions booked via Celebrity, refunded, we got nothing.

We were told to contact our Insurance company, but of course we weren’t covered.

 

Maybe you need to change insurers as most specialised UK cruise insurers will give you cover for missed ports.

Booking from the UK/EU you need to have missed more than a third of ports of call for the regulations to kick in

 

11 minutes ago, Silkroad said:

I was on the cruise that Upwarduk referenced, and I did not think I was treated poorly. I said it would have been nice to be offered OBC for the two missed days in SPB, but I had no expectation that I would be offered anything. Why? Because we missed the port due to weather. It was totally outside Celebrity’s control. Missed or changed ports due to weather, political unrest, or epidemics cannot be blamed on Celebrity. 

 

I do not know where you are from but different markets different rules.

 

I have read the email and at no point do Celebrity offer those that booked in the UK/EU markets the option to cancel with a full refund as stated in law.

 

I do not think Celebrity are at fault but I do think they should abide by the laws of the markets they are selling to.

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4 hours ago, Bo1953 said:

While most likely hectic, were one using Celebrity Air, it would automatically be taken care of.

 

Of course not everyone uses Celebrity Air and as such they will have to make their own arrangements for change and etc., very unfortunate and lots of pressure as well.

 

On our next sailing in Europe, we will use Celebrity Air in order to avoid such potential headaches and inconveniences... even if booking it last minute, if possible.

 

bon voyage


Celebrity Air has never been available to me as an Australian on any of my cruises. I plug in the city I leave from and get null results. We always have to book our own fare. 

In reality as Singapore is currently safe then this change is done by Celebrity for no apparent reason. 

 

The refund of Port taxes and compensation is done on many cruise lines so it’s definitely not an unusual practice at all. I also understand that a change of port can happen. But this is a major change. And for Australians, likely to cost them a few thousand dollars because if the first leg of a trip is taken, then the trip is not able to be cancelled without heavy penalty and then you also have to book a single journey ticket which costs almost as much as a two way ticket. 
 

It is irrelevant to me and the law whose ‘fault’ it is. However as Singapore has not been as yet declared ‘unsafe’ then the change is at the instigation of Celebrity only. I would expect that Celebrity have to abide by the law that the ticket is booked through. I’d also say that this change constitutes a valid enough change that if you cancelled you would receive full refund if challenged by Australian legislation. But that wouldn’t be made public. 

Edited by Pushka
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1 hour ago, timf2001 said:

The main issue is that it should not be the passengers responsibility to get from Singapore to Dubai or vice-versa.  Celebrity should offer chartered flights at no cost to those who find themselves in the wrong place at the beginning or end of the cruise, or the ability to cancel.  I can think of multiple instances where a cruise has ended in the wrong city in the Caribbean on other cruise lines due to weather or mechanical problems, and the cruise line always provided a transportation alternative.  Having this happen at the start of a cruise is a little different, but they could arrange the same thing.  To expect passengers to foot the bill for their own last minute flights is unacceptable.

I agree. Making a change of this magnitude so late in the game certainly places liability squarely in Celebrity's court IMO. While I have sided with Celebrity on many of the other coronavirus-related issues arising over the past few weeks, I too think that their decision this time around is very short sighted and totally unacceptable.

Edited by Fouremco
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5 hours ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

That could happen.  As of now, Singapore has not been added as a location that you cannot have travelled to prior to the cruise.  However, since Singapore has a relatively high number of Coronavirus cases, I would not be surprised if it is added to the list.

 

There are hundreds of passengers of the 16th of Feb cruise currently on the way or already in Singapore, hence the ship would then likely be sailing almost completely empty. I anyway wonder what the load will be on this cruise, probably not above 80%

 

This is the by far most cilized / Westernized country in Asia and the local authoriites are really doing the utmost to get the virus under control, hence before Singapore will get a travel ban other countries will be before.

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